Becoming a dog owner has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only has it made me exercise every single day and shown me what loyalty and unconditional love means (soppy I know – but dog owners will know what I mean), it has also meant I have met some lovely dogs and some really interesting people.
Dogs have the unique ability to bring people together and bring out the best in them and this was more than apparant last week, when I attended by far the most exciting event I have been invited to in ages (how much do I love dogs?), the annual Dogs Trust Honours Awards.
Showcasing a range of heartwarming stories and celebrating a selection of the bravest dogs in the country, the awards highlight what a difference a dog can make to its’ owner’s life.
Host Adrian Chiles presented awards to seven winners, whose stories ranged from Scampi the 14-month-old Jack Russell Scampi who saved his owner, Rosie, from an attempted sexual attack just three days after he was adopted from Dogs Trust Newbury. Alice who works as a Canine Partners assistance dog for ex-serviceman Melvin O’Dowd who is wheelchair bound following a bomb blast and a great innitiative set up by Sue Stone whose mother is in the Rambla Nursing Home, which has an open-door dog policy and allows Stone family dog, Spider, to regularly visit her mother so he can offer companionship, happiness and a familiar face.
By the end of the afternoon there wasn’t a dry eye in Home House and I had to resist the temptation to adopt a Dogs Trust rescue dog, right there and then.
The Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and through their network of 18 Rehoming Centres across the UK, they care for over 16,000 stray, unwanted and abandoned dogs each year. They promise never to put a healthy dog to sleep and work hard to make sure their dogs can go onto enjoy happy lives in new forever homes.
It’s worth having a chat with them if you are thinking of getting a dog, as they take great care to match the right dog to owner and how good would it feel to know you are giving a stray or abandoned dog a new start in life.